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Surgical Outcomes Published

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28 Jun 2013

The publication of performance data for individual surgeons in England has commenced today (28 June 2013).

Vascular surgeons have become the first of a new group of nine specialities to publish the information, including death rates.This initiative applies to England only, although some specialties have also chosen to publish data they hold for Scotland and Wales.

Due to data protection legislation, consultants had to agree to have results from their operations published and around 98% have. Results that are not published are still analysed and acted upon as necessary by the NHS.

RCSEd President, Mr Ian Ritchie said:

Ian Ritchie"The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh supports the publication of surgeons' outcomes data, the first batch of which is being published for surgeons in England today. It is important that all surgeons participate fully in this process because patients have a right to know how well surgeons do, no less than any self-respecting surgeon would want to be recognised as being good at his or her job. 

"There are, however, a number of issues to be taken into account in looking at outcomes data. These include recognising that surgeons do not work in a vacuum, and the team and environment they work within also contribute to a patient's outcomes. The case mix that arises from the local patient population also has an impact, and it is important to consider the volume of cases undertaken by an individual surgeon, and to ensure that when results are considered they are aggregated over a suitable period of time.

"We support the work that has been undertaken by our sister College in London, which has brought us to the point where this information has been able to be published."

To read The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh's full position on the publication of surgical outcomes, please download the position statement below. For further information on the publication of surgical outcomes, please visit the NHS Choices website.

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